Emergency Circus presents Cirque d’Vote
This election season the Emergency Circus is enlivening polling places across the nation with Cirque d’Vote, an initiative to put the fun back in fundamental rights. Cirque d’Vote has wrangled Clowns, Jugglers, Acrobats, and Aerialists all over the United States to present parades and socially distant circus shows to excite folks about exercising their right to vote and alleviate voter apathy.
By activating polling locations in 7 cities before Election Day, Cirque d’Vote brings extra attention to the early voting process. Emergency Circus also calls upon circus artists all over the country to entertain long lines at the polls wherever they can be found.
See the Circus
Oct. 23 at Philadelphia’s Liacouras Center (starting at 2pm)
Oct. 24 at Phoenix’s Heritage Square Park (starting at 4pm)
Oct. 25 at Austin’s Carver Branch Library (12-4pm)
Oct. 28 at Tuscon’s Kennedy Park (12-5pm)
Oct. 30 at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum (starting at 12pm), Asheville’s Pack Square Park (starting at 2pm), and Portland’s Dante’s (6-10pm)
Clay Mazing, Emergency Circus Captain: For over 15 years Clay Mazing, the lasso-spinning, comedic vaudevillian, and multi-instrumentalist has performed all over the world from county fairs, to opera houses, to stadiums, to television and film.
As founder and director of the non-profit humanitarian project called the Emergency Circus, Clay has performed alongside Dr. Patch Adams and with Clowns Without Borders for Syrian refugees in Jordan, occupied Palestinians in the West Bank, hurricane shelters in the US, and hospitalized children all over the world, to name a few.
Working with the Center for Artistic Activism on enlivening the voting process with Cirque d’Vote is a dream come true for Clay.
Maya Pen, Co-conspirator of Cirque d’Vote: Maya is an interdisciplinary theater artist from the Philadelphia area. Her work is a combination of performative writing, puppetry, songwriting, and performance art. In addition to the arts, she is an active community organizer, working to empower people through cooperative ventures, and working with various organizations to empower youth through storytelling and imagination.
Maya has worked across Philadelphia, Montreal, and New Orleans, curating large interdisciplinary events in community spaces that respond to issues of borders, diaspora, displacement, and home. She is ecstatic at the opportunity to work with Emergency Circus and the Center for Artistic Activism as the co-conspirator of Cirque d’Vote.
Unstoppable Voter Projects Throughout the Country Will Bring Art and Entertainment to Voters and Polling Places; Artists Hope to Inspire Others in Their Own Communities
In this contentious election season, many people are wondering how we can move past division and tension to celebrate democracy and our freedom to vote. Artists, in the business of storytelling and culture-making, are working around the country to turn the focus to honoring and encouraging participation in our democratic process. With this in mind, the Center for Artistic Activism created the Unstoppable Voter Project. We funded 11 of the most ambitious, innovative collaborations between artists and civic organizations seeking to increase voter engagement after receiving more than 100 applications. Artistic events will take place nationwide, with a focus on states where voters are facing barriers to the polls.